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Locating Government Publications within Senate House Library

Senate House Library holds parliamentary papers from 1801 onwards and non-parliamentary papers 1971-2001. Most of these Government Publications at Senate House Library do not appear on the Library's catalogue. Consequently, it will usually be necessary to obtain full bibliographic references from one of the 3 electronic databases already described.

Additionally, if you are interested in non-parliamentary publications 1988-2001, there is an electronic index to non-parliamentary publications (specific to Senate House Library) which may prove useful. This index will provide the year in which a particular non-parliamentary document was produced, and also the department which produced it. This information is useful when looking for non-parliamentary publications on the shelves.

In general, there is a division between:

  • the older material on open access on the 6th floor
  • the recent, unbound material in closed access, which you will need to request from the Library's Information Centre

Open access on the 6th floor

This older material includes: (approximately in this order if approaching from the History collection)

  • Sessional Papers : arranged by subject (up to 1854)
  • Sessional Papers : chronological sequence (1801- )
  • Parliamentary Debates : Hansard and Standing Committee (please note that Senate House Library ceased taking the paper version of Hansard in 2002. The full text of Hansard debates from 1988 onwards is available on the UK Parliament web site.)
  • Public General Acts
  • Local and Personal Acts
  • Statutory Instruments
  • Loan copies of some Parliamentary Papers
  • House of Commons Journals and House of Lords Journals (these are records of the proceedings of the two Houses - they record what was done in the House, rather than what was said)
  • Non-Parliamentary Publications (1976-2001)

Please note that the paper holdings of Sessional Papers at Senate House Library for the first half of the nineteenth century are not complete. Therefore, if the volume you require is not on the shelf, please ask staff in the Library's Information Centre, who will be able to direct you to the microfiche version.

Closed access

This more recent, unbound material (which will need to be fetched for you) includes:

  • House of Commons Bills 1994/95 onwards
  • House of Commons Papers 1994/95 onwards
  • Command Papers 1994/95 onwards
  • House of Lords Bills 2000/01 onwards
  • House of Lords Papers 2001/02 onwards
  • Acts of Parliament 2001 onwards
  • Standing Committee debates 2000/01 onwards

Please ask staff in the Library's Information Centre, Middlesex South Reading Room, if you require any of the recent, unbound material in closed access.

Additionally, non-parliamentary papers for 1971-75 are kept in closed access. Staff in the Library's Information Centre will be able to fetch these for you.

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